The underlying hard rock of the Khor and Suwakheda areas in the Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh, along with its soil conditions, meant 90 per cent of the area’s rainwater was lost. With only 10 per cent infiltrating the sedimentary terrain, this posed a unique challenge to UltraTech’s water conservation efforts at Vikram Cement Works, an integrated unit of UltraTech located in Khor, Neemuch. This prompted UltraTech to embark on a project in financial year 2019-20 aimed at collecting the run-off water from the unit’s mining area in a pit, which would allow for rainwater to be harvested. To enable water harvesting, UltraTech modified its mine planning and operations to maximise extraction of mineral from lower benches. This helped in accumulation of rainwater in the lower benches. As part of this initiative, 85 lakh cubic metres of water has been harvested in the mine area at Vikram Cement Works in FY20 alone. Most of our integrated units have taken up water harvesting initiatives within their premises and several of them have mine-based water harvesting projects.
Vikram Cement Works also has the distinction of implementing watershed initiatives within the local communities. Some of these projects have been implemented in partnership with multiple government bodies. Several other manufacturing units of UltraTech have also undertaken integrated watershed projects to benefit the local communities. These units include Rajashree Cement Works (Karnataka), Andhra Pradesh Cement Works (Andhra Pradesh), Dhar Cement Works (Madhya Pradesh) and Baga Cement works (Himachal Pradesh).
Water security is an integral part of UltraTech’s operations across all its sites. The Company adheres to a zero-water discharge policy at all its facilities. UltraTech undertakes water recycling, recharging of groundwater and rainwater harvesting at its manufacturing sites. More than 52 million m3 of water has been harvested, recharged, recycled and reused across all its manufacturing locations in FY20. Overall, the Company recycles over 14 per cent of the water it uses. With these efforts, the Company is certified more than 2.8 times water positive and aims to be four times water positive by end of FY2021.